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1.
J Behav Health Serv Res ; 49(3): 262-281, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1872666

ABSTRACT

This study aims to describe which substance use service (SUS) organizations and who within these organizations support the maintenance of policies targeted at improving substance use treatment services. An online survey assessing respondent, organizational and program demographics, and knowledge and support regarding policy changes was distributed to all certified SUS and harm reduction programs in NYS. Bivariate and latent class analyses were used to identify patterns and associations to policy choices. Across the 227 respondents, there was a support for maintaining expansion of insurance coverage, virtual behavioral health/counseling and medication initiation/maintenance visits, reductions in prior authorizations, and access to prevention/harm reduction services. Three classes of support for policies were derived: (1) high-supporters (n = 49; 21%), (2) low-supporters (n = 66; 29%), and (3) selective-supporters. Having knowledge of policy changes was associated with membership in the high-supporters class. Implications regarding the role of knowledge in behavioral health policies dissemination structures, decision-making, and long-term expansion of SUS are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Policy , Humans , Insurance Coverage , New York , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy
2.
Popul Health Manag ; 25(2): 235-243, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1864946

ABSTRACT

Amid the global pandemic, it becomes more apparent that diabetes is a pressing health concern because racial/ethnic minorities with underlying diabetes conditions have been disproportionately affected. The study proposes a multiyear examination to document the role of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes health. Using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2011 to 2019, the study with a pre-post design investigated changes in access to care and diabetes health among non-White minorities compared with Whites before and after the ACA by conducting multivariable linear regression, with state-fixed effects and robust standard errors. Compared with Whites, racial/ethnic minorities showed significant improvements in health insurance coverage, having a personal doctor, and not seeing a doctor because of cost. Blacks (3.2% points, P ≤ 0.000), Hispanics (1.6% points, P = 0.001), and "other" racial/ethnic group (1.5% points, P = 0.003) experienced a greater increase in diagnosed prediabetes than Whites, whereas no and small differences were found in diagnosed diabetes and obesity, respectively. The yearly comparisons of changes in diagnosed prediabetes showed that Blacks compared with Whites had a growing increase from 1.2% points (P = 0.001) in 2014 to 3.3% points (P = 0.001) in 2019. Insurance coverage has declined after 2016, and obesity had an increasing trend across race/ethnicity. The ACA had a positive role in improving access to care and identifying those at risk for diabetes to a larger extent among racial/ethnic minorities. However, the policy impacts have been diminishing in recent years. Continued efforts are needed for sustained policy effects.


Subject(s)
Diabetes Mellitus , Prediabetic State , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Obesity , Pandemics , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , United States/epidemiology
3.
Front Public Health ; 10: 841832, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855462

ABSTRACT

Under longstanding federal law, pregnancy-related Medicaid coverage is only guaranteed through 60-days postpartum, at which point many women become uninsured. Barriers to care, including lack of insurance, contribute to maternal mortality and morbidity. Leveraging the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a federal law requiring that states provide continuous coverage to Medicaid enrollees during the COVID-19 pandemic as a condition of receiving enhanced federal financial support, we examine whether postpartum women seek additional care, and what types of care they use, with extended coverage. We analyze claims from the Parkland Community Health Plan (a Texas Medicaid Health Maintenance Organization) before and after implementation of the pandemic-related Medicaid extension. We find that after implementation of the coverage extension, women used twice as many postpartum services, 2 × to 10 × as many preventive, contraceptive, and mental/behavioral health services, and 37% fewer services related to short interval pregnancies within the first-year postpartum. Our findings provide timely insights for state legislators, Medicaid agencies, and members of Congress working to improve maternal health outcomes. We add empirical evidence to support broad extension of Medicaid coverage throughout the first-year postpartum.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicaid , Female , Health Maintenance Organizations , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Pandemics , Postpartum Period , Pregnancy , Texas , United States
6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 742355, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775899

ABSTRACT

Objective: Health disparities related to basic medical insurance in China have not been sufficiently examined, particularly among patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aims to investigate the disparities in HCC survival by insurance status in Tianjin, China. Methods: This retrospective analysis used data from the Tianjin Basic Medical Insurance claims database, which consists of enrollees covered by Urban Employee Basic Medical Insurance (UEBMI) and Urban and Rural Resident Basic Medical Insurance (URRBMI). Adult patients newly diagnosed with HCC between 2011 and 2016 were identified and followed until death from any cause, withdrawal from UEBMI or URRBMI, or the latest data in the dataset (censoring as of December 31st 2017), whichever occurred first. Patients' overall survival during the follow-up was assessed using Kaplan-Meier and extrapolated by six parametric models. The hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated with the adjusted Cox proportional hazards model including age at diagnosis, sex, baseline comorbidities and complications, baseline healthcare resources utilization and medical costs, tumor metastasis at diagnosis, the initial treatment after diagnosis and antiviral therapy during the follow-up. Results: Two thousand sixty eight patients covered by UEBMI (N = 1,468) and URRBMI (N = 570) were included (mean age: 60.6 vs. 60.9, p = 0.667; female: 31.8 vs. 27.7%, p = 0.074). The median survival time for patients within the UEBMI and URRBMI were 37.8 and 12.2 months, and the 1-, 3-, 5-, 10-year overall survival rates were 63.8, 50.2, 51.0, 33.4, and 44.4, 22.8, 31.5, 13.1%, respectively. Compared with UEBMI, patients covered by URRBMI had 72% (HR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.47-2.00) higher risk of death after adjustments for measured confounders above. The survival difference was still statistically significant (HR: 1.49; 95% CI: 1.21-1.83) in sensitivity analysis based on propensity score matching. Conclusions: This study reveals that HCC patients covered by URRBMI may have worse survival than patients covered by UEBMI. Further efforts are warranted to understand healthcare disparities for patients covered by different basic medical insurance in China.


Subject(s)
Carcinoma, Hepatocellular , Health Status Disparities , Liver Neoplasms , Adult , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/mortality , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/therapy , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , Liver Neoplasms/mortality , Liver Neoplasms/therapy , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Urban Population
8.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(3): 322-323, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742027

ABSTRACT

Marketplace enrollment rose significantly, and the Biden administration proposed sweeping new standards for 2023.


Subject(s)
Insurance Coverage , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Humans , Reference Standards , United States
9.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(3): 390-397, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742025

ABSTRACT

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plays a critical role in providing affordable health insurance for the nongroup market, yet the accessibility of plans from insurers with high quality ratings has not been investigated. Our analysis of recently released insurer quality star ratings for plan year 2020 found substantial variation in access to high rated plans in the federally facilitated ACA Marketplace. In most participating counties (1,390 of 2,265, or 61.4 percent), the highest-rated ACA Marketplace insurer had a three-star rating. Fewer than one-third of counties (703, or 31.0 percent) had access to four- or five-star-rated insurers. Fewer than 10 percent (172, or 7.6 percent) had access to only one- or two-star-rated insurers. In plan-based analyses, each one-point increase in star rating was associated with a $28 increase in the average monthly plan premium. Counties with the highest proportion of residents obtaining individual coverage through the ACA Marketplace and counties with more insurers were the most likely to have access to plans from high-rated insurers. We found no systematic racial or ethnic disparities in access to plans from high-rated insurers. Policy makers should continue to monitor the quality of available health plans.


Subject(s)
Health Insurance Exchanges , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Humans , Insurance Carriers , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , United States
10.
BMC Pediatr ; 22(1): 124, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736357

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had widespread impacts on the lives of parents and children. We determined how the pandemic affected Type 1 diabetes patients at a large urban pediatric teaching hospital. METHODS: We compared patient characteristics, glycemic control, PHQ-9 depression screen, in person and virtual outpatient encounters, hospitalizations and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) utilization in approximately 1600 patients in 1 year periods preceding and following the local imposition of COVID-related restrictions on 3/15/2020 ("2019" and "2020" groups, respectively). RESULTS: In a generalized linear model, increasing age, non-commercial insurance, Black and Hispanic race/ethnicity, and non-utilization of CGMs were all associated with higher hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), but there was no difference between the 2019 and 2020 groups. The time in range in CGM users was lower with non-commercial insurance and in Black and Hispanic patients; it improved slightly from 2019 to 2020. CGM utilization by patients with non-commercial insurance (93% of such patients were in government programs, 7% uninsured or "other") increased markedly. In 2020, patients with commercial insurance (i.e., private-pay or provided by an employer) had fewer office visits, but insurance status did not influence utilization of the virtual visit platform. There was no change in hospitalization frequency from 2019 to 2020 in either commercially or non-commercially insured patients, but patients with non-commercial insurance were hospitalized at markedly higher frequencies in both years. PHQ-9 scores were unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalization frequency, glycemic control and depression screening were unchanged in our large urban pediatric teaching hospital during the COVID pandemic. Increased utilization of CGM and rapid adoption of telemedicine may have ameliorated the impact of the pandemic on disease management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/therapy , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 311, 2022 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731529

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In recent decades, there has been a significant focus towards the improvement of maternal mortality indicators in low-and middle-income countries. Though progress has been made around the world, West Africa has maintained an elevated burden of diseases. One proposed solution to increasing access to primary care services is health insurance coverage. As limited evidence exists, we sought to understand the relationship between health insurance coverage and at least four antenatal care (ANC) visits in West Africa. METHODS: Demographic and Health Survey data from 10 West African countries were weighted, cleaned, and analysed. The total sample was 79,794 women aged 15 to 49 years old were considered for the analysis. Health insurance coverage was the explanatory variable, and the outcome variable was number of ANC visits. The data were analysed using binary logistic regression. The results were presented using crude and adjusted odds ratio (aOR) at 95% confidence interval. RESULTS: Approximately 86.73% of women who were covered by health insurance had four or more ANC visits, compared to 55.15% for women without insurance. In total, 56.91% of the total sample attended a minimum of four ANC visits. Women with health insurance coverage were more likely to make the minimum recommended number of ANC visits than their non-insured-peers (aOR [95% CI] =1.55 [1.37-1.73]). CONCLUSION: Health insurance is a significant determinant in accessing primary care services for pregnant women. Yet, very few in the region are covered by an insurance scheme. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, policy makers should prioritize rapid solutions to provide primary care while setting the infrastructure for long-term and sustainable options such as publicly run health insurance schemes.


Subject(s)
Facilities and Services Utilization , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , Prenatal Care , Adolescent , Adult , Africa, Western/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Facilities and Services Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Insurance, Health/statistics & numerical data , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Prenatal Care/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
12.
J Am Coll Surg ; 234(2): 191-202, 2022 Feb 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Surgical patients with limited digital literacy may experience reduced telemedicine access. We investigated racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in telemedicine compared with in-person surgical consultation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of new visits within the Division of General & Gastrointestinal Surgery at an academic medical center occurring between March 24 through June 23, 2020 (Phase I, Massachusetts Public Health Emergency) and June 24 through December 31, 2020 (Phase II, relaxation of restrictions on healthcare operations) was performed. Visit modality (telemedicine/phone vs in-person) and demographic data were extracted. Bivariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression were performed to evaluate associations between patient characteristics and visit modality. RESULTS: During Phase I, 347 in-person and 638 virtual visits were completed. Multivariable modeling demonstrated no significant differences in virtual compared with in-person visit use across racial/ethnic or insurance groups. Among patients using virtual visits, Latinx patients were less likely to have video compared with audio-only visits than White patients (OR, 0.46; 95% CI 0.22-0.96). Black race and insurance type were not significant predictors of video use. During Phase II, 2,922 in-person and 1,001 virtual visits were completed. Multivariable modeling demonstrated that Black patients (OR, 1.52; 95% CI 1.12-2.06) were more likely to have virtual visits than White patients. No significant differences were observed across insurance types. Among patients using virtual visits, race/ethnicity and insurance type were not significant predictors of video use. CONCLUSION: Black patients used telemedicine platforms more often than White patients during the second phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual consultation may help increase access to surgical care among traditionally under-resourced populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , General Surgery/statistics & numerical data , Office Visits/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Ambulatory Surgical Procedures , Computer Literacy , Female , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Logistic Models , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Public Health , Retrospective Studies , Socioeconomic Factors , Telephone/statistics & numerical data
16.
J Health Polit Policy Law ; 47(1): 1-25, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604881

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: The United States is the only high-income country that relies on employer-sponsored health coverage to insure a majority of its population. Millions of Americans lost employer-sponsored health insurance during the COVID-19-induced economic downturn. We examine public opinion toward universal health coverage policies in this context. METHODS: Through a survey of 1,211 Americans in June 2020, we examine the influence of health insurance loss on support for Medicare for All (M4A) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in two ways. First, we examine associations between pandemic-related health insurance loss and M4A support. Second, we experimentally prime some respondents with a vignette of a sympathetic person who lost employer-sponsored coverage during COVID-19. FINDINGS: We find that directly experiencing recent health insurance loss is strongly associated (10 pp, p < 0.01) with greater M4A support and with more favorable views of extending the ACA (19.3 pp, p < 0.01). Experimental exposure to the vignette increases M4A support by 6 pp (p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, situational framings can induce modest change in support for M4A. However, real-world health insurance losses are associated with larger differences in support for M4A and with greater support for existing safety net policies such as the ACA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , Medicare , Pandemics , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , United States , Universal Health Insurance
17.
Hepatol Commun ; 6(1): 223-236, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597246

ABSTRACT

Prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) could be affected by lack of or delayed therapy. We aimed to characterize the prevalence, correlates, and clinical impact of therapeutic underuse and delay in patients with HCC. Patients with HCC diagnosed between 2010 and 2017 were analyzed from the United States National Cancer Database. Logistic regression analysis identified factors associated with no and delayed (>90 days after diagnosis) HCC treatment. Cox proportional hazards regression with landmark analysis assessed the association between therapeutic delay and overall survival (OS), accounting for immortal time bias. Of 116,299 patients with HCC, 24.2% received no treatment and 18.4% of treated patients had delayed treatment. Older age, Black, Hispanic, lower socioeconomic status, earlier year of diagnosis, treatment at nonacademic centers, Northeast region, increased medical comorbidity, worse liver dysfunction, and higher tumor burden were associated with no treatment. Among treated patients, younger age, Hispanic, Black, treatment at academic centers, West region, earlier tumor stage, and receipt of noncurative treatment were associated with treatment delays. In multivariable Cox regression with a landmark of 150 days, patients with and without treatment delays had similar OS (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98-1.04) with a median survival of 33.7 vs. 32.1 months, respectively. However, therapeutic delay was associated with worse OS in patients who had tumor, nodes, and metastases (TNM) stage 1 (aHR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01-1.11) or received curative treatment (aHR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05-1.18). Conclusion: One-fourth of patients with HCC receive no therapy and one-fifth of treated patients experience treatment delays. Both were associated with demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical characteristics of patients as well as facility type and region. The association between therapeutic delay and survival was stage and treatment dependent.


Subject(s)
Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/therapy , Liver Neoplasms/therapy , Time-to-Treatment , Age of Onset , Aged , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/ethnology , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/mortality , Female , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , Liver Neoplasms/epidemiology , Liver Neoplasms/ethnology , Liver Neoplasms/mortality , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Social Class , Tumor Burden , United States/epidemiology
19.
Am J Public Health ; 111(12): 2157-2166, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559064

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused substantial disruptions in the field operations of all 3 major components of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). The MEPS is widely used to study how policy changes and major shocks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, affect insurance coverage, access, and preventive and other health care utilization and how these relate to population health. We describe how the MEPS program successfully responded to these challenges by reengineering field operations, including survey modes, to complete data collection and maintain data release schedules. The impact of the pandemic on response rates varied considerably across the MEPS. Investigations to date show little effect on the quality of data collected. However, lower response rates may reduce the statistical precision of some estimates. We also describe several enhancements made to the MEPS that will allow researchers to better understand the impact of the pandemic on US residents, employers, and the US health care system. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(12):2157-2166. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306534).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Insurance Coverage/organization & administration , Insurance Coverage/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Population Health/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
20.
Prev Med ; 154: 106901, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541025

ABSTRACT

The Health Insurance Marketplace has offered access to private health insurance coverage for over 10 million Americans, including previously uninsured women. Per Affordable Care Act requirements, Marketplace plans must cover preventive services without patient cost-sharing in the same way as in employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). However, no study has evaluated whether the utilization of preventive services is similar between Marketplace enrollees and ESI enrollees. Using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data for 2014-2016, we identified working-age women with Marketplace plans (n = 792, N = 2,567,292) and ESI (n = 13,100, N = 52,557,779). We compared the two groups' receipt rates of five evidence-based preventive services: blood pressure screening, influenza vaccine, Pap test, mammogram, and colorectal cancer screening. Unadjusted results showed marketplace enrolled women had significantly lower odds of influenza vaccination, Pap test, and mammogram. However, after controlling for other factors, Marketplace insurance was not associated with lower receipt rates of preventive services, except for influenza vaccination (Adjusted OR = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.50-0.82). Regardless of an individual's private insurance type, higher educational attainment and having a usual source of medical care showed the strongest association with the receipt of all investigated preventive services. With the increased role of the Marketplace as a safety net in the COVID-19 pandemic, more research and outreach efforts should be made to facilitate access to preventive services for its enrollees.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Insurance Exchanges , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Insurance Coverage , Insurance, Health , Pandemics , Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , Preventive Health Services , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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